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Reluctantly Witnessing Common Sense's Death

November 13, 1996

Re "The Death of Common Sense?" (Nov. 8): In my position as college counselor and career advisor at Eagle Rock High School in the Los Angeles Unified School District, I too often am witness to the death of common sense described in your article.

More often than not, children are thrown into situations much worse than need be when they are found with an item against which we have instituted a "zero-tolerance" policy.

Deans and administration would do well to ask themselves whether it is fathomable that their own sons or daughters might well have, at one time, been guilty of this type of offense and whether any purpose will truly be served by going through with expulsion proceedings.

In many cases both justice and society would be better served by keeping a student in an accepting environment where true learning might take place. For schools to abdicate their mandate to educate students based upon a young person's mistake or misunderstanding is indeed a fine example of the death of common sense.

STEPHEN WILLIAMS

Los Angeles

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Can someone please explain to me what's wrong with this picture? An innocent 6-year-old is labeled a sexual harasser and suspended from school for kissing a classmate on the cheek, while a man I know can threaten to kill his wife without even getting a slap on the wrist from our justice system.

I'm afraid that the laws of this great country of ours are no longer so great. Not only has common sense died, but because of the fear of lawsuits, the compassion of being a good Samaritan has gone by the wayside.

Will truth and justice ever again become the American way?

VIELKA D. DUSENBERRY

Manhattan Beach

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